This past week I was in Europe where some of the most innovative, passionate, influential and intelligent leaders offered perspectives on how to “Resourcify” and feed the world with fewer resources.  It was Michael E. Porter that said sustainably feeding our world is an “epic opportunity.” My question is HOW?  As I reflected on the conference, what became crystal clear to me was that COURAGEOUS LEADERSHIP is our most precious resource in solving the complicated issues of feeding the world, more so than land, water or innovation.

Leading courageously is different than simply leading. Here are a few characteristics of courageous leaders I’ve observed.

Focusing too much on collaboration and the collective group leads to the self fulfilling prophecy that we are dependent on others to act first.  I believe it will be individuals that have edge, INDEPENDENCE, and a willingness to take risks that will become courageous leaders.

Courageous leaders have more depth, less width of knowledge in their area of expertise. They are well read, they listen, they’re hungry for the next idea and they’re constantly staying ahead of pace. A deep KNOWLEDGE provides the foundation for someone to step out and make bold moves that others might not.

Some of the most courageous leaders I know have a laser focus on one big idea at a time.  They become obsessed. Once fulfilled, they connect the big idea to the next milestone, which then ladders up to the overall vision.  An non-distracted focus leads to PROGRESS, which fuels courage.

HUMILITY + RESOLVE:  As Jim Collins highlights in his book Good to Great, mixing the duality of humility and resolve creates the deepest and widest FOLLOWING.  Courageous leaders don’t worry about political correctness because they have purpose and keep themselves smaller than the cause.  Their significance and influence comes from those they represent.

Personally, I’m committing to spending more time with courageous leaders. You always look better against your own history than you do against today’s best.  Thank you Nutreco and Agrivision for the opportunity to learn, engage and challenge how we find solutions to feed the world.




  1. Pingback: The Question Of Character And Courage | We dream of things that never were and say: "Why not?"

  2. Pingback: DEPENDENCY ON THE CAUSE | jeffsimmons2050

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